Local news

In brief: Grocery worker attacked trying to prevent wine theft

A woman attacked a Hillyard Grocery employee Thursday evening as he tried to prevent her from stealing a bottle of wine.

Surveillance footage showed the woman pacing around the store at 5803 N. Market St. for several minutes before grabbing a bottle of rose wine and hiding it under her clothes.

Employee Jason Hill said he confronted the woman as she walked out the door, but she spun around and smashed the wine bottle against his head. She then grabbed pieces of the broken glass and chased the store’s employees around the parking lot until he and a friend tackled her, he said.

Police arrived and arrested Makayla M. Keeney, 29, on suspicion of first-degree robbery.

Downed power lines spark three small brush fires

Power lines snagged by a tree as it fell ignited three small brush fires across a hillside of dense vegetation in southwest Spokane, sending smoke billowing across Interstate 90 Thursday afternoon.

The downed tree also knocked out power for more than 500 people on Sunset Hill.

Neighbors said their power went out around 4:15 p.m. and then they smelled smoke. Spokane firefighters contained and extinguished the flames.

Firefighters said one of the fires burned less than half an acre, while the other fires were even smaller.

Lake CdA incident prompts hypothermia warning

It may feel like summer out there, but lakes and rivers are still cold enough to bring on hypothermia in minutes, safety officials caution.

Three Coeur d’Alene residents found that out when their canoe flipped over early Thursday afternoon on Lake Coeur d’Alene near Osprey Point.

Jason S. Parker, 58, was able to swim to shore. Sierra R. Parker, 32, and Ronald G. Sever, 65, were rescued by a Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department patrol boat after about 30 minutes in the water. The water temperature is in the mid-40s.

All three were treated at the scene for the beginning stages of hypothermia, the sheriff’s office said.

None of the canoeists had life jackets available, and alcohol was a factor in the incident, officials said.

In addition to the cold water, the Spokane River level is low, exposing navigation hazards, the sheriff’s office said.

State high court overturns Spokane man’s conviction

The Washington State Supreme Court on Thursday overturned the second-degree rape conviction of a Spokane man, saying the trial judge violated the man’s right to a fair trial by including a jury instruction that the defense didn’t want.

In the 6-3 decision, the state’s high court ordered a new trial for Brandon S. Coristine, who was 22 when he was convicted in January 2010 of second-degree rape following an incident in 2009.

Spokane County prosecutors charged Coristine, arguing that the victim was too intoxicated to give consent for sex, which the defense argued was consensual.

At the end of the trial, Superior Court Judge Michael Price agreed with the prosecutor to give an instruction to the jury stating that the defendant reasonably believed that the woman gave consent but that the burden was on Coristine to prove that the woman gave consent for sex by a preponderance of the evidence.

But in the 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court sent the case back to Spokane County Superior Court for a new trial.


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